Qual­ity of Web Lit­er­a­ture

Guangzhou Daily Septem­ber 19

Beijing Review - - THIS WEEK -

China’s Web lit­er­a­ture has ex­pe­ri­enced ex­plo­sive growth in re­cent years. Ac­cord­ing to the re­cently re­leased 2017 Chi­nese Web Lit­er­a­ture De­vel­op­ment Re­port, sales vol­ume in the mar­ket reached 12.92 bil­lion yuan ($1.88 bil­lion) and the num­ber of read­ers to­taled 406 mil­lion last year.

In ad­di­tion to the in­creas­ing num­ber of writ­ers and read­ers, a lot of films and TV dra­mas adapted from Web nov­els have be­come hits with mil­lions of view­ers. There­fore, even if one has never read any Web nov­els, one can­not es­cape their in­flu­ence.

Com­pared with con­ven­tion­ally pub­lished lit­er­a­ture, Web lit­er­a­ture has the ad­van­tage of more di­rect in­ter­ac­tion with read­ers. How­ever, it also faces is­sues such as lack of pre­mium works and ho­mo­ge­neous com­pe­ti­tion, with many writ­ers fo­cus­ing on a lim­ited range of top­ics such as fan­tasy sto­ries. Also, Web nov­els are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly longer in order to gen­er­ate more prof­its. If such a trend con­tin­ues, the genre will lose its ap­peal among read­ers.

In the pre­lim­i­nary stage of de­vel­op­ment, Web lit­er­a­ture re­lied on the quan­tity of con­tent to sur­vive. How­ever, as the genre evolves into a new era, it should try to win read­ers by im­prov­ing its qual­ity. Only by pro­duc­ing ex­cel­lent works cov­er­ing a broad range of top­ics will the genre be as­sim­i­lated into main­stream lit­er­a­ture.

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